The countdown has begun to this year's Heritage Live concerts in the grounds of English Heritage's Audley End House & Gardens.

Kicking off this year's summer series in Saffron Walden will be Simple Minds on Thursday, August 11.

There will be a real Scottish flavour to the day at the Essex estate, with Big Country featuring Richard Jobson and Hue and Cry also on the bill.

The line-up will be completed by Caezar and Saffron Walden's own Joanna Eden Band.

Fronted by singer Jim Kerr, Simple Minds have been musical pioneers for 40 plus glittering years.

Ahead of appearing at Audley End in August, the group have announced details of their 19th studio album, Direction Of The Heart.

Released on October 21, Direction Of The Heart is Simple Minds’ first album of new material since 2018’s UK Top 5 album Walk Between Worlds.

Throughout its nine tracks, Direction Of The Heart finds the band at their most confident, anthemic best on an inspired celebration of life, none more so than on euphoric lead single Vision Thing.

All pounding drums, synth washes and the unmistakable guitar playing of Simple Minds’ lifelong six-string wonder, Charlie Burchill, the song is a tribute to Jim Kerr’s “best pal”, his late father, who passed away in 2019.

Most of Direction Of The Heart’s tracks were created and demoed in Sicily, where both Kerr and Burchill now live. Unable to come to the UK because of quarantine rules at the time, the album was recorded at Hamburg’s Chameleon Studios.

Band members, bassist Ged Grimes, who co-wrote two of the new songs, ‘First You Jump’ and ‘Solstice Kiss’, drummer Cherisse Osei, and vocalist Sarah Brown joined them on some of the tracks, recording their parts separately in London.

Album guests, Sparks’ frontman Russell Mael and Gary Clark, recorded their respective parts in home studios.

Frontman Jim Kerr said of Direction Of The Heart: “How to make a feel-good ‘electro-rock’ record, during the very worst of times?

"Direction Of The Heart is the result of that challenge. Who would have thought we’d have so much fun creating it?”

Fans attending Heritage Live can expect to hear some of Simple Minds' greatest hits such as American chart-topper Don't You (Forget About Me), UK number one Belfast Child, Promised You A Miracle, and Alive and Kicking.

Simple Minds today are Jim Kerr (vocals), Charlie Burchill (guitars, keyboards), Gordy Goudie (acoustic guitar), Ged Grimes (bass), Cherisse Osei (drums), Berenice Scott (keyboards) and Sarah Brown (vocals).

Tickets for Simple Minds are available from Ticketmaster and via